On behalf of Schmitt Law Firm, LLC posted in blog on Thursday, November 21, 2019.
Dealing with an injury after an accident is bad enough, but insurance companies can make it worse. If your insurance company is not holding up its end of the bargain, you might go without the compensation you need to recover. Your insurance company must thoroughly investigate and settle claims in a timely and honest manner.
Sometimes, insurance companies may partake in unfair or dishonest practices, known as acting in bad faith. Here are some common bad faith tactics:
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), one bad faith strategy is looking for problems that can unreasonably delay a claim. Your insurance company might do this to see if you will give up on the claim. If you are dealing with an insurance company dragging out time, you might be able to file a bad faith claim.
2. Incomplete investigation
Insurance companies must properly investigate claims. As a policyholder, you deserve to have your claim be seriously looked at. For example, if your claims adjuster fails to inspect damage to your car in-person and simply determines it was pre-existing after talking to you on the phone, it could be a violation of implied duty of fair dealing.
3. Undervaluing a claim
Your insurance company could try to offer you a reduced claim in an effort to save money. Insurance companies cannot intentionally offer a lowball claim. You should not accept a smaller amount than your claim is worth.
An insurer might intentionally fail to mention important information to you. For example, your agent could fail to tell you about a claim deadline or existence of coverage.
5. Making threats
One of the most obvious signs of bad faith is making threatening statements. If your insurance company is threatening to file criminal charges or take other legal action because you file a claim, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.